Criminal Minds season 13 episode 14 review: Is Emily Prentiss leaving the BAU?

Emily PrentissTo say that we are worried about Emily Prentiss at this point would be an understatement. The last episode of Criminal Minds put some serious fear in our hearts that Emily may no longer be in charge of the BAU team after Linda Barnes told JJ that she is now the acting director of the team while Emily is being put on administrative leave. No one knows why this is happening at this point, but we do know that there is an internal review into something Emily did that’s being conducted by Barnes and it’s going to take her off the team for a while.

JJ in charge

So what’s going on with Emily’s sudden administrative leave? One interesting question that Barnes asked was if JJ ever wondered why she wasn’t promoted after Hotch left to which JJ said that Emily had a higher position than her. Anyone else out there thinking about how different this show would be if JJ was in charge?

Barnes asks JJ to keep this quiet until she has a chance to talk to Emily herself and let her know that this is happening, but JJ calls Emily right away – not telling her what was said, but telling her there’s an issue. When the case of the week comes in, Emily tells the team that she has a meeting with Barnes for what she calls a standard administrative review and that JJ will be in charge.

When they learn that it’s one year anniversary of Reid’s arrest in Mexico, Matt worries the team by saying that this is the same thing Barnes did with Matt’s unit before disbanding it. Thanks Matt, now we are all worried.

Related – Check out the return date for episode 15!

Emily vs Barnes

In Emily’s interview Barnes questions the investigation into Reid’s arrest in Mexico, and also all of the subsequent cases since then. They discuss how the unit has been functioning since being under the leadership of Emily, and Barnes reveals that she thinks there’s been some blurred lines in getting the job done. Stephen Walker’s death is being pinned on Emily’s leadership (as well as many other deaths including the one in the truthers episode), saying that Walker is the first death of an agent in the entire history of the BAU.

If you remember, Emily deleted Reid’s recording admitting to the killing in Mexico and lied to a detective there about never having the recording. Barnes pushes this narrative like she knows it’s fact and we wonder how much she really knows.

It was nice to see Emily call Barnes out on what she’s actually after, saying that she knows that she loves breaking down units, slimming them down and re-creating them in her image and once Barnes asks for Emily to give up Rossi or Reid as a fall guy Emily’s fears are confirmed. Of course Emily is not going to give up any of her team members.

Emily confronts Barnes about what she’s really after in this so-called investigation – Barnes wants to become the director and is using her unit as a stepping stone towards that goal.¬†Boom. Once again Emily shows just what an amazing profiler she is and why she’s in charge.

So how did this all work out with Barnes? Emily has been suspended from active duty indefinitely and Linda Barnes is now overseeing everything and the unit is under investigation. Way to kick us in the heart right before a nice long hiatus.

CarterMatt Verdict

The scenes with Emily and Barnes were powerful – we had a trip down memory lane of all the different scenarios where Emily went a little rogue for her team (and to get to the truth) and it was a nice reminder of just how loyal she is to this team, making Barnes someone that the fandom can get behind to all dislike together.

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